BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
OLD Mutual Zimbabwe (OMZ) group chief executive officer Sam Matsekete says gaps in the funeral services sector led them to add more offerings to their policy.
OMZ has already been running the Flexi Funeral Plan, an annual renewable funeral policy aimed at reducing inflation by making cash payouts to cater for funeral costs for clients.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of the Old Mutual Funeral Service last Thursday, Matsekete said the offering was not a new entry into the funeral insurance sector.
“We have always been selling products offering people funeral cover. The only difference is it was a pure cash payout. So, perhaps what is new to us is that we are now going into the services which are now really extending our offering to say in addition to giving you cash we can offer you services,” he said.
“I could say the services side is saturated, depending on what market side you are looking at, but we think that there is still a value proposition we bring which is competitive enough and appealing strongly to what customers are looking for. There are gaps, that is the point I make and to us those gaps we see as opportunities.”
He continued: “We can offer something competitive and something that can be valued by our customers. So, what you have been shown here is a fuller product around those services, but even at a basic level the way you deliver those services, we also believe, is something we can also enhance.”
Key features of these services offer cover ranging from US$500 to US$5 000 for those with access to United States dollars.
According to OMZ, it also pays the cover amount during a valid term, such as when one dies because of an accident (such as a car accident) — on non-accidental death (such as illness or old age).
There is a waiting period of three months for those aged between 0 and 65, while for those who are 66 to 75 years have a six-month waiting period.
“This new service offering adds to a range of existing financial service products Old Mutual offers in the market. This latest offering is set not only to meet the needs of our customers, but to also demonstrate our commitment to our customers to be to their certain friend in uncertain times,” Matsekete said ahead of an interview with journalists.
“We are all committed to serving you at the level of standard that is comparable only to the best you can find anywhere. Presently the funeral services business has bases in Harare and Bulawayo and we will continue to open branches in other strategic locations across the country. Our focus will be on ensuring that regardless of where you are within the country, we should be able to serve you.”
OMZ has partnered a major South African operator to manage repatriations.